IFA Animal Health Chairman Bert Stewart has said the Department of Agriculture regional veterinary laboratory services are a highly regarded, vital support for farmers throughout the country and it is not acceptable that the Department of Agriculture would seek to reduce their role and support structures for farmers.
He said, farmers have become accustomed to the quality and independence of the service provided by the strategically located regional veterinary laboratory structure. This structure facilitates the convenient and timely submission of samples by farmers and their vets when urgent, accurate and independent diagnosis of on-farm problems is required.
Bert Stewart said that with increasing herd sizes, farmers will face different challenges and animal health issues that will require the support of their local regional veterinary laboratory. At a time when farmers are making huge investments in raising the health status of the national herd, the Department of Agriculture should be increasing the resources and the service provided through its very well located regional veterinary laboratories.
Bert Stewart said DAFM veterinary laboratories, operating through their regional bases, are best equipped to provide these vital services to farmers. It is critical that the existing structures are maintained and built on to ensure they are fit for purpose and continue to deliver real value to farmers.